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Chiang Mai Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended Chiang Mai Safaris & wildlife activities

Chiang Mai: Waterfall, Elephant Sanctuary and Bamboo Rafting

1. Chiang Mai: Waterfall, Elephant Sanctuary and Bamboo Rafting

Embark on a one-of-a-kind experience and visit an ethical rescued elephant sanctuary in the jungle outside Chiang Mai. Cool off in a waterfall, savor a traditional Thai lunch, and become a caretaker for the day as you interact, feed, and observe the gentle giants in their natural environment.  Begin with a pickup from your hotel or accommodation in downtown Chiang Mai. Take a scenic drive southwest of Chiang Mai and see local farms, hill tribe villages, and rice fields along the way.  Journey to the Mae Wang Waterfalls, where you'll relax and take a dip in the water. Arrive at the Secret Elephant Sanctuary located deep in the jungle. You'll be welcomed to the sanctuary by a guide who will lead you through the experience. Get dressed into Karen hill tribe clothing like the ones elephant caretakers wear. Next, get a briefing on Asian elephants and the background of the sanctuary. Come and meet the friendly rescued elephants and feed them bananas. Walk up the hill with elephants through the forest and watch the elephants forage for food in the wilderness. Observe elephants interacting between families in their natural environment. Head down to the river and enjoy bathing with the elephants. Walk with the elephants back to the sanatorium and embrace the memories and have time to say goodbye to these marvelous creatures. Finish off with a scenic bamboo rafting trip along the Mae Wang River before you get dropped off at your hotel in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai: Elephant Care at Elephant Retirement Park

2. Chiang Mai: Elephant Care at Elephant Retirement Park

Meet and feed elephants on this elephant sanctuary tour from Chiang Mai. Watch these majestic creatures up close and learn about them from specialists. Sit down to an authentic Thai lunch and stay hydrated with complimentary water. Start your journey in the morning with a hotel pickup from Chiang Mai city center. Take the 1-hour ride to the countryside of Mae Tang district. Get changed into the local clothes and be ready for the fun activities. The experienced guide will provide information about the elephants' behavior and how to provide proper care for them. Then, prepare food and healthy treats for the elephants and feed them afterward. After that, you and the elephants will walk to play in the mud and sand spa. During this time, you will have a chance to observe their behavior, in beautiful natural surroundings. After your time with the elephants, change your clothes, shower, and then enjoy a delicious traditional Thai buffet lunch, which is suitable for vegetarians. After lunch, relax on the 1-hour journey back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city center.

Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Small Group Tour

3. Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Small Group Tour

Take a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai. Start with a convenient pick-up from your hotel in the city center of Chiang Mai and take a drive to the elephant sanctuary. Learn how to make healthy snacks for elephants and see the rescued animals. Go for a swim at Mae Wang Waterfall. Relax as you are picked up from your city center accommodation in Chiang Mai. Sit back as you are driven southwest of the city on a scenic 1.5-hour drive. Encounter local farms, hill tribe villages, and rice fields. Receive a warm welcome when you arrive at the Pupha Elephant Sanctuary. Put on your traditional Karen Hill tribe clothes to look like an elephant caretaker. Listen to a briefing on Asian elephants and the background of the sanctuary. Gain new knowledge as you are taught how to make healthy snacks for the elephants. Feed the rescued elephants as you walk up a hill in the deep jungle. Watch the elephants foraging for food and see elephant families interacting with one another. Bathe in the river with the elephants and walk them back to the sanctuary, where you will be taught how to make elephant medicine balls. Take a shower and pack up your belongings. Eat a traditional Thai lunch and fresh fruits. Leave the elephant sanctuary and stop at Mae Wang waterfall for a quick swim before transferring back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city center. Finally, return to your starting point after the tour.

Chiang Mai: Small Group Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

4. Chiang Mai: Small Group Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

Meet elephants on this guided day trip from Chiang Mai to the Lanna Kingdom Elephant Sanctuary, located in the middle of a lush national park. Here the elephants are able to roam freely in a large green space. Keep your clothes clean by wearing local clothes and boots. Feed and interact with rescued elephants before sitting down to a freshly cooked lunch.  Depart Chiang Mai aboard an air-conditioned van and journey into the mountains of northern Thailand to visit the ethical Lanna Kingdom Elephant Sanctuary (approximately 1-hour drive from the city center). Upon arrival, learn about the elephant conservation program and benefit from an introductory talk, and the chance to interact with the rescued animals. Get the chance to give them a hug and discover how to prepare a healthy meal to feed them. Go for a walk around the sanctuary with the elephants and stop to give them a mud bath to keep their body temperature down and protect them from parasites. Feed them before enjoying a homemade lunch at a restaurant inside the sanctuary.

Chiang Mai: Ethical Elephant Observation Nature Park Visit

5. Chiang Mai: Ethical Elephant Observation Nature Park Visit

Visit Elephant Nature Park, a natural rescue center for elephants, dogs, cats, buffaloes and many other animals that need care. Volunteers and visitors contribute to the animals' healing while learning about their lives. Choose from a half-day or full-day tour. After pickup from your hotel in central Chiang Mai, admire the views as you drive through picturesque countryside to the nature park. Learn the stories of the rescued orphaned elephants and spend time with the different herds. Enjoy a vegetarian buffet lunch at the park, and get dropped off back in Chiang Mai at the end of your tour. With the full-day experience, have the chance to see and learn the elephants' eating behavior from a viewing platform. After lunch, walk down to a river that skirts the park and watch these gentle giants as they splash around while you stay dry on the riverbank.

From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Day Trip & Hike

6. From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Day Trip & Hike

Explore the Thai jungle and embark on a guided hike on this day trip from Chiang Mai. Marvel at Thailand's highest mountain, visit pagodas and the rainforest, and feast on a delicious lunch as you go. Begin your experience in Chiang Mai and meet our guide for the drive to Doi Inthanon National Park. The park is home to Thailand's largest mountain which rises 2,565 meters above sea level, and has air that is cool year-round. Upon arrival, take a walk around the Angka Nature Trail. Experience an authentic rainforest environment filled with rare flora, animals, and birds. Continue on to visit 2 pagodas, built in honor of the King and Queen of Thailand for their 60th birthdays. There, take a stroll through the Hmong Market, and shop for local products like vegetables and seasonal fruits. Next, head to the Royal Project restaurant for lunch. Load up on energy to get ready for your afternoon hike. Have peace of mind knowing that free drinking water is also available during your experience. Begin your hike along the scenic Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail. Trek through shady forests and authentic jungle. Absorb a panoramic view of the rice terrace, and learn all about rice paddies. Conclude your hike at the Karen Hill Tribe Village, and find out about the villagers' way of life. Savor some freshly ground and brewed coffee before your return journey back to Chiang Mai.

Ethical Elephant Caretaker & Doi Suthep Temple Private Tour

7. Ethical Elephant Caretaker & Doi Suthep Temple Private Tour

Begin your private experience with a pick-up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city and take a scenic journey to a private elephant estate where you will be their caretaker for half a day. Upon arrival, Walk to the main base camp, located up the hill, get changed into an elephant caretaker outfit and prepare yourself for a day of fun. Learn about Asian Elephants' long and fascinating history as you learn to cook healthy herbal treats for them to eat for a snack. Afterward, feed the handmade treats to them and walk along their side through the beautiful lush forest. Continue with elephant bathing in the river and say a farewell to your new, big friends as you set off on the next part of your tour. Take some time out of your day to enjoy a delicious Tha lunch, eating dishes with rice and finishing off your meal with a selection of fresh tropical fruits. Then, visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the temple that is situated on the top of a mountain. You can reach the top by walking up or using the elevator. At the very top, there is a golden chedi and terrace adorned with small shrines, breadfruit trees, rock gardens and, an Emerald Buddha statue. From the mountain top you will be treated to breathtaking views of the lush greenery below.

Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary Guided Tour in Spanish

8. Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary Guided Tour in Spanish

Visit an Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai accompanied by a Spanish-speaking guide and spend a day learning about these gentle giants, playing and bathing with them. Afterward, enjoy a delicious lunch and a relaxing swim.  Meet your guide at your hotel lobby and drive for 45 minutes to the elephant sanctuary. Upon arrival, out on your caretaker clothes and then get an introduction about the sanctuary and the elephants that live here.  Prepare breakfast for these magnificent animals and then get a chance to feed them up close. You will get opportunities to interact and play with them in a natural environment as the guide explains their behavior and history.  Enjoy a short walk with the elephants next to the river before lunchtime. Take a dip in the pool before feasting on traditional food like Pad Thai, Chinese rolls, and local fruit then prepare to leave the sanctuary. The return journey back to Chiang Maitakes approximately 45 minutes and you will arrive at your hotel around 2:00 PM.

Chiang Mai: Private Elephant Care Experience for Couples

9. Chiang Mai: Private Elephant Care Experience for Couples

Start the adventure with pickup from your hotel and travel to the nature park to meet the elephants. Listen to your guide share information about the Elephant Retirement Park and the story of the rescued elephants that live here. After that, prepare some healthy treats and a meal to take up to the mountain where the fun begins. Get up close and personal with the elephants as you feed them a selection of fresh fruits and sugar canes. Enjoy this exclusive romantic experience with your partner and admire these incredible mammals in their natural habitat. After you’ve fed the elephants, it’s time for your lunch too. Enjoy a sumptuous traditional Thai lunch, that you can learn to make yourself in the kitchen. After lunch, learn how to bathe the elephants and scrub them with mud to protect their skin from sunburn and insects. Marvel at the elephants as they play around in the mud and make a splash, this is a truly unique and immensely fulfilling experience that will be remembered forever. At the end of the experience, wash off the mud at the onsite shower, where towels and soap are provided. Then enjoy some free time to relax with a cold beverage and admire the beautiful scenery of mountainous Chiang Mai.

Elephant Retirement Park Volunteering and Homestay Program

10. Elephant Retirement Park Volunteering and Homestay Program

Volunteering at the Elephant Retirement Park Chiang Mai provides an opportunity to engage with elephants and can be a life-changing experience. Feed and bathe the elephants regularly and learn about their care. Choose from two to seven-day program options. On day one, you’ll get an introduction to the park and the elephants. Enjoy a traditional Thai buffet at lunch, followed by a mud spa and shower with the elephants. On day two, take a trek with the elephants (riding is not permitted). Marvel at beautiful scenery along the way to a waterfall, where lunch will be served.

  • Adventures
  • Private tours
  • Water activities
  • Multi-day trips
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What people are saying about Chiang Mai

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 715 reviews

Such a great experience. Very knowledgeable and friendly guide (Ms. Cung - hope I spell that correct). Did a lot of good pictures for everybody. Fun activities with rafting before and some small hike with waterfall after the elephants. But of course Highlight were the elephants. Awesome experience and get really super close and can interact with them. 100% recommend this tour. Pick up and drop off was smooth. Also enough breaks during the drive.

It was an amazing experience too see the elephants very up and close, being happy, relaxed and treated so well by the workers. The guide was great and taught us a lot about the elephants, about their personalities, feelings and activities. The waterfall was also great and powerful. With the perfect ending of an relaxing bamboo rafting.

One of the most beautiful days in my life! The interaction with the elephants is soul healing. Totally invigorating. The bamboo rafting was fun! The waterfalls were great indeed! And Ronnie, our guide made ALL the difference! He is absolutely great guide! And locco (crazy) ! A ravishing experience. Thank you Ronnie. Korkkupkan.

The guide was amazing! Funny, witty and nice. The locals ”leading” the activities was very sweet and wanted everyone to get the best experience. Easily the best activity you possibly could do in northern Thailand!

Have never interacted with elephants that close.The local team provided me with that kind of experience.That was great